Pull Box: February 20

Gotham Girl’s story is so tragic, simply because of how much her and her brother have been used, abused, and tossed aside like trash. Left to suffer and fizzle out from their powers, or become corrupted infinitely by them. All she wants is her brother back, and to be a hero alongside them. Unfortunately, at the end of the day, she’s still a child and doesn’t see the cost that being a hero really holds. Who’s manipulating her is the real question, but all signs point to Bane as we continue down the rabbit hole of Tom King’s 100-issue arc.

I wasn’t expecting Brainiac and Lex Luthor to essentially be joined on a spiritual level to unleash Perpetua on the universe. I was expecting the usual villain betrayal, but that’s not exactly what Scott Snyder is about is it? This incredible retcon of the past of Lionel Luthor and his working with Vandal Savage before having his memories erased is so flawless that it fits like a puzzle piece in a blank space that we never knew we needed. It effortlessly gives Lex Luthor a grandiose history that takes him from hyper-intelligent mastermind, to destined villain. Fantastic.

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Pull Box: February 13

That ending was the most ridiculous, comic book thing I have ever seen and was not something I ever expected. This arc has been long and twisting, recalling many of the most important people throughout the life and career of Bruce Wayne and Batman. It’s been a perfect way to explore the past of Detective Comics, the book that started it at all as we approach the 1,000th issue. But to ask if I ever saw the evil kid-Bruce thing coming? No, that one was a little far out of left field for me. But kudos to the creative team here for sticking to their guns to create a memorable, and original story.

When the Deathbringers arrived, I expected them to just be those three giant robots. Then thousands of Hawkmen flew out and started destroying London, and the stakes suddenly seemed exceptionally high in the book. It’s obvious that Xanadu is going to figure out how to bring all of Carter Hall’s past lives back, including Ktar, the leader of the Deathbringers, who will prove indispensable in defeating them for the final time. My only wonder if where Hawkman will go after this? I truly hope that it stays an adventure book in the vein of Indiana Jones. That’s where he seems most comfortable.

Doctor Fate has gone sufficiently crazy, and become the evil threat to all of reality that he has always been set up to be. Who are these mysterious Lords of Order that he seems to have aligned himself with? We’ll find out soon, I’m sure. But meanwhile, the magical community is in pieces, with the remaining refugees thinking they had escaped to a separate dimension only to find out the worse had been yet to arrive. The Otherkind are a terrifying villain, but to find out that they’re mere pawns for a larger game is insane. Lastly, kudos to Man-Bat for scientifically working out magic to help save the day in a way, with the mysterious boy from earlier in the series, who seems like he will prove invaluable in the fight.

Jonathan Kent had one hell of an adventure, that’s for sure. Being ripped through a black hole to encounter the Crime Syndicate of Earth-3… as an eleven year old? Not high on the list of things I would enjoy doing. But, the well-timed arrival of Mongul, just so Superman had someone to take his frustrations out on was perfect. Mongul hasn’t truly been a threat in quite some time, particularly against a powered-up, frustrated Clark Kent. Superman’s frustration over missing his son growing up, especially someone who is so family-first the way he was raised. That has to be nearly impossible to deal with as a parent.

An issue that focuses on the plight of Odin, just a few short months before the War of the Realms begins, was one of the most necessary things to have. While he’s completely unable to show it, because of his misplaced pride and narcicissm, Odin truly loves his children, and regrets the way fate has treated him and his family. Despite all of that regret, he’s unable to do anything to fix it, and the internal struggle that rages on inside him is the focus here, rightfully so. Another deeply personal issue of Thor, moments before the biggest event Marvel has had in years, begins. Well played.

Is it possible that Gotham Girl was behind the attacks on Sanctuary? The attack that took the life of Wally West? Or at least a Wally West. We’re still unsure how that twist works, to be honest. It’s not likely that Claire is behind that attack, as we’ll certainly learn the perpetrator in the pages of Heroes in Crisis. But, this new development is certainly interesting. The chemistry between Batman and Flash is some of the best in comics because of how different they are as heroes, yet just how similar they are as people.

Pull Box: February 6

Justice League has consistently been the best written comic since its debut, and all this issue did was set it further apart from the rest of the pack, with yet another fantastic retcon on the history of the Martian Manhunter. J’onn J’onnz is one of the bigger mysteries still left in the DC Universe, as his origin is still so simplistic and yet to be explored fully. The inclusion of Lex Luthor as a childhood friend with latent psychic abilities is certainly an interesting, and also sets the stage for Lex to turn his back on the Legion of Doom that he created as his elaborate plan begins to spin wildly out of control.

When Batman and Flash crossover, some of the best stories seem to happen organically, and this is certainly no different. Calling back to Batman’s very first Rebirth story, Gotham Girl has returned and she’s randomly attacking places that will bring various heroes into the fold. Particularly, Batman and The Flash. What she plans to do with them is still a mystery, but we know she’s attempting to revive her Brother, who seems to be hooked up to Bane’s Venom. Another clue as to who could be behind all of this?

A long, in-depth read about the time when Clark Kent first arrived in Metropolis. There have been numerous re-tellings of this same story, over and over again, and all of them are almost the same, but just like every other origin being re-told in comic book form, it just never gets old, and I’ll never pin-point why that is. While this book is certainly not required reading, it’s worth the time to check out if you’re a fan of Superman.

I don’t think I’ll ever get past how perfectly suited for the Green Lantern Grant Morrison’s writing is. It’s so bizarre, and the characters he concocts are beyond belief, as many alien species should be. It’s just confusing and bizarre enough to feel alien while you’re reading it, but things slowly pull themselves back together each and every time. While I thought that Morrison’s Lantern would be more of a mini-series, these smaller arcs support a longer run than expected, and I’m certainly ready for that.

Little by little, DC is exploring the annals and history of Darkseid and Apokolips more and more. We’re learning of its past, and the events leading up to Darkseid’s initial rise to power, while exploring his dynamics with the right hands that have ensured he stay at the top. Granny Goodness and her Female Furis have always been one of the more interesting side characters for the New Gods, and the exploration here was great. With that said, it’s a shame that sexism exists on a desolate planet like Apokolips, as well, with the Furies unknowingly taking part in a show of “female grace” for the detestable villains. I hope that they get what’s coming to them in this series, because it will be satisfying.

This moved at the strangest pace, and seems like it’s going to continue that way for a while. Despite having an all-star lineup of young heroes, they’re just sort of… coming together. By fate, or destiny perhaps, but it’s been this random series of events, bringing this random group of heroes together, and it seems weird and difficult to read in some strange way. Additionally, I love Teen Lantern, and really missed Impulse not being in this issue, as he is an absurd amount of fun in all of the books he is in. I hope he gets a solo book, soon.

Pull Box: January 30

Lois Lane telling her Father, Sam Lane, one of Superman’s biggest opponents since his introduction about his secret identity is insane. I’m sure she wasn’t expecting it to go down that way, but it did, and she’ll eventually have to deal with the repercussions. The real crazy thing in this issue is the mysterious blue explosions wiping out groups of heroes and villains alike. The most interesting thing is that these explosions look near-perpetrated by the same energy as Dr. Manhattan. Has Leviathan learned something? Man, so many crazy mysteries!

The lead-up to the Flash Annual, and the climax of the Force Quest, we now know the truth. Barry was never meant to work with the other Force users. They have always been destined to clash, which explains why they just seem to naturally disagree in so many different ways. Not to mention, Hunter Zolomon has already escaped from Hypertime, and revealed to be the murderer behind Gorilla City. Lots of questions answered in this issue!

A heartbreaking issue, capped off by the Flash Family finally dealing with the sudden loss of Wally West at Sanctuary. It happened months ago, but with The Flash off on his Force Quest, there was never any chance for them to address it, but now it’s finally happened. But with the loss of one speedster, comes the arrival of another, as Bart Allen, aka Impulse has escaped the Speed Force! The best speedster, not seen in years has finally returned, and I could not be more excited.

Holy crap. It all comes down to this. After being weakened by the events of Dark Knights: Metal, the Source Wall has been destroyed, and the creator of the Multiverse, and mother of The Monitor and Anti-Monitor, Perpetua, has been released. We’re rocketing toward one of the biggest comic book events in history, as decades of stories converge onto this single point, and it’s beautiful.

Finally! The Secret Origin of The Silencer! This was one of the most important things that we still needed for Honor Guest’s character arc, and now that we have it, I can’t say I’m disappointed. Honor is a metahuman that was stolen from the League by Talia to see her own ambitions through. Used from the very beginning. Now as Talia attempts to wipe her family’s memory from existence, she thinks she the Silencer under control… I’m not no sure.

The escape act with Miracle Man was awesome, and yet another highlight in this incredible arc leading up to the 1,000th issue of Detective Comics. Given the unique characteristics of the creature that’s been chasing Batman, my guess was Clayface in a beautiful and tragic twist of character that would use the recent history of Detective Comics against it, but with Batman attacking Hugo Strange, it would seem maybe I wasn’t quite accurate. It’s still very possible, though. We’ll find out as we approach the penultimate issue.

A massive piece of the puzzle is now in our possession. Wally West at Sanctuary is too old to be the Wally West we know. That still seems like quite a mystery, but it strangely makes sense in a way that only comic books can. Ted Kord, aka Blue Beetle, trusts Booster Gold, and Batgirl trusts Harley Quinn. Both have collided, but now where do they go from here? This was a beautiful issue, using the speech by Superman as its backbone, and it was gut-wrenching, and real, and everything that comics have really never been, but always needed to be. Absolutely beautiful.

Darkseid being in the Ghost Sector at the time saved him from the inevitable as the New Gods were all obliterated by Perpetua, as well as Apokolips and New Genesis. But, Darkseid is… ever the planner, as he hopes to reshape the planet in the Ghost Sector into a new, even more powerful Apokolips to use as a crazy war machine. Insanely enough, the Coluans knew that, and bottled all those planets to stop Darkseid! That’s some insanely good retconning.

This was exactly what it needed to be, and it was great. A fun anthology of short stories that spotlight the ups and downs of love and its many nuances. The Superman story especially was fantastic, telling yet another story about how Clark Kent is the hero, and Superman is the mask. My only issue with this was the way they drew Hawkgirl in her Galentine’s Day story, which was not accurate, of course. Hopefully someone catches that next time.

Plastic Man’s son has every right to be mad at him, but I really would have loved to hear more about his explanation for being stuck as an egg. Rex Mason is Metamorpho again, and it seems that every issue Doc Dread is allowed to be a villain, he gets more villainous. Big surprise there, but it’s nice to not have him being some comical throwback to the inept villains of old. Now The Terrifics are getting back together, and my favorite Super-Team is whole again!

This was a much-needed, fun and lighthearted issue that helped introduce some new characters, with a fresh love story of mythological creatures at its heart. It also introduced a random new human ally for Diana, and even set up the story for the future with Veronica Cale, the largest antagonist for Wonder Woman since Rebirth began, in possession of one of the apparently many Gods that have landed on Earth.

Pull Box: January 23

The secret is out! The last several issues of Batman have all been a dream. An induced nightmare as Batman is strapped to a machine that’s pumping Scarecrow gas into his system non-stop in an attempt to drive him insane. In a play to keep his mind in one piece, Batman’s psych created a version of Constantine to help guide him along, but it hasn’t exactly worked the way he hoped. Now the question is where did this start? Was it Thomas Wayne? Before that? After? Interesting questions to ponder until the next issue.

This issue was even better than the first, with great action sequences and a fantastic way of establishing the new versions of these classic characters. On top of that, the idea of Uncle Sam being some extradimensional entity that’s fueled by the American Dream is so ridiculous that it just works. It’s such a “comic” idea that it fits so perfectly in this setting, and I’m intensely interested to see where it goes. Lastly, that evil German Plastic Man is the most horrifying villain I have seen in ages.

It’s all coming together. Shayera was using the Absorbascon to create a false Thanagar-Prime to keep the reputation of strength that Thanagar has kept for generations intact. But she knows it was wrong, and now looks to rebuild. Meanwhile, J’onn J’onnz is the key the Perpetua and her army, as he was abducted as a child by Humans from the far-flung future in an attempt to make their DNA whole. Perhaps Starman isn’t who he says he is, and he’s the result of that experiment? Lastly, Kendra knows what the secret on her wings is, now. A map to an alternate dimension of God-like beings. Man, this is intense!

This is going to be quite an interesting book. I can already tell. This first issue sucked me in with its incredible artwork, and relatable characters. Then it hooked me with that cliffhanger ending. What’s special about Naomi? She has an obsession with Superman, and feels close to him as they’re both adopted. Now, she finds out that… maybe she is? But how? What’s different? I wish this was a graphic novel so I could read it all, right now!

I’m glad that they’re making the personal stories, like the arrival of Billy Batson’s mysterious biological Father, on the backburner here. Because the Marvel Family exploring the various magical lands created by the Council is way more interesting. Theme parks are always ominous when they’re magical, and now there’s a creepy clown, and even the ruler of the “Funlands” claiming that he’s a member of the Family. The last Champion. Maybe he abandoned his post to stay in Funlands? We’ll get answers soon, as lead-up to the movie later this year continues.

Pull Box: January 16

A new villain! Or is she a hero? Victorious and her purpose is still up in the air, but she is most certainly a tool for one of Doctor Doom’s many schemes. This one saw her act as a lure for Galactus, most likely as some sort of display of power for Latveria, though he doesn’t exactly need it. It’s nice to see the team back in action together, though. It’s also much appreciated that they didn’t forget the history between Franklin Richards and Galactus, one of my favorite pairings from Marvel in many years.

This lead-up to Detective Comics #1000 is so fascinating. It’s such a strange mystery, with all of Batman’s past on display. His origin, being picked apart by a ruthless creature that knows his story as well as he, himself, knows it. It’s still unclear, but if I had to wager a guess, this is most likely a returning Clayface, who vanished to keep Cassandra safe after he was manipulated and turned into a weapon against Gotham City. Perhaps he blames Batman for all that’s happened to him? We’ll find out soon enough.

The Deathbringers have returned. But that’s the least important thing that happened this issue. Carter Hall slipped through time to a Krypton on the brink of destruction, meeting his past self, Catar-Ol, as he witnesses the death of his world. The realizations about Kal-El and Kara, and their past interactions with each other were beautiful in a way, connecting those characters in a way that feels fresh and new. One of the best things this book has done from the start is manipulate the past of the DC Universe in such effortless ways, and it’s fantastic.

That slight detour that Wonder Woman’s arc took us on has diverted back to the Otherkind, and it immediately picked up. The Otherkind are invading Earth and its realms at an alarming rate, taking root in the tales and whispered stories of the Magical World. Unknowingly, Man-Bat is helping spread the word, as he’s the odd man out in all of this. The rookie to the world of demons and evil… naive to its many nuances. The addition of S.H.A.D.E. and the numerous magical heroes and villains across the DC Universe is adding so much flavor to these books, and I love it.

As per usual, no one listened to Superman when the time was right, and now they’re all just realizing that, yes, Jor-El is a crazy person who has manipulated things for years in his own favor. I’m honestly a little sad about the Jonathan Kent time-skip thing because he was actually an endearing kid-hero, who was fun to read and actually believable in his wonder and amazement at everything. Hopefully the new Jonathan, albeit older and more serious is still a good read.

This was considerably better than the first issue, but only slightly. It took forever to get moving, and something about the story just doesn’t sit right with me. It feels off, and uninteresting for a Batman story. Even with The Batman Who Laughs, and The Grim Knight, two interesting parallel versions of Batman at its disposal, it uses them sparingly, going for spectacle and attempts at mystery. I’ll give it one more issue to wow me, and we’ll see what happens.

Gemini finally makes their move, manipulating Psych, who was manipulating Flash for Gemini. It sounds way more confusing than it really was. It’s interesting how these new Force Users are so adept at using their powers. They’re skilled in the way that Flash is skilled with the Speed Force, as if they’re meant to have these powers, and they’ve finally found their proper host. Now, in the next issue, it looks like we’ll get a full breakdown of the history of speed force, and these new forces themselves. That could change Flash comics forever, if it’s done well enough.

A bit of an anticlimactic ending to an otherwise fantastic arc, this did exactly what it needed to do. It put Ares down, while also putting him on a quest to find Athena and the other Gods, who seem to be scattered to the winds. Aphrodite is now with Diana, who seems lost in all the confusion of the Greek Pantheon ascending to the Earthly plain once again. I think that soon enough we’ll be heading back to Themyscira. With the Gods in the winds, perhaps the whole world will be heading to Themyscira soon enough?

Pull Box: January 9

The War of the Realms is finally on its way, and we’re getting a peek behind the curtain of the unsung heroes of War that gather information, and spy on enemies such as Malekith. The growth of Roz Solomon as a hero, and agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. (now Agent of Wakanda) has been one of the bigger character pieces throughout the last several years of Thor, and arguably one of its biggest successes. The tragedy that follows her drives her now, and has really helped her flourish into a greater role behind the scenes.

Are we finally gaining traction on the return of the previous universes across the DC Multiverse?! They just said that “this universe is not the first!” That could mean so many things, but the constant restoration of the DC status quo cannot be ignored in this case. Mystery on top of mystery abound here as the entire universe is united against the Justice League for the destruction of the Source Wall. Thanks, Batman.

That was a wildly interesting issue. Though, when Tom King and Mitch Gerads are together, nothing but the weirdest stories are in order, and it’s great. With only one page of spoken dialogue, we’re in Batman’s head as he awakens in what is most certainly some sort of nightmare. The good thing? We’re finally back on track somewhat with Flashpoint Batman as Bruce finally remembers what’s happening. But what made him forget? This is an intense story with so many crazy mysteries in play.

I figured that the Green Lantern vs. God thing would be a ploy, but if anyone would be willing to go there, it would be Grant Morrison. Unfortunately, it was a ploy for a planet eater to trick the Earth into complacency while he fattened up the planet and its population to eventually consume it. Clever. This version of Hal Jordan is much more of a “Space Cop” than any other instances, being more grizzled and utilizing more aggressive tactics. Even going so far as to kill the slave trader, though he certainly deserved it.

This moved so quickly, and in such insane fashion that it was hard to really pull it all together. But being so quick moving, and being a thing that involved Impulse in any capacity, made it a hell of a lot of fun. The quick introduction to Young Justice, and the re-emergence of several younger characters for no apparent reason was a bit strange, but in the world of comics, anything is truly possible. Hopefully Bendis is able to slow that pace down just a bit, though.

Pull Box: January 2

NEWCOMICS

AC
Ever since its reveal in The Silencer, Leviathan has been revealed to be pulling the strings in the darkest parts of the DC Universe for years. Operating in shadows that the heroes didn’t even know existed, and manipulating weaknesses in their abilities and personalities for years. Now, they’re slowly starting to take control over several books, and becoming a legitimate threat to the world without anyone being any wiser. A slow burn villain is most certainly the best one, and with Red Cloud working with Leviathan, things should get much more interesting.
DC
The countdown to Detective Comics #1000 has been absolutely phenomenal. A personal story that recalls the well-known origin of Batman in unique ways, as each and every person that Batman loves is picked apart, one by one. Pushing him further and further to the depths of his soul to grapple with his own humanity and past. This is storytelling at its best, and I know it should culminate into one hell of a thousandth issue.
HC
This is such a unique and fantastic story. A murder mystery with a real message at its heart, that humanizes DC’s heroes in a way that they have never really explored. The mental health and psychological issues that comes with being a hero, and dealing with the loss and failure, and much more. It’s dramatic, with a genuine conflict that could legitimately affect the DC Universe moving forward. Real stakes for the heroes. It’s a wonderful change of pace.
FL
This was a strangely paced issue. Flash and Fuerza defeated the Sage Force demons, and stopped Cauldron in Corto Maltese, meanwhile Commander Cold is making himself more comfortable in Central City, and their cases are starting to crossover with each other. It’s obvious that Trickster is behind the Sage Force weapon, but how does he know how to manipulate it? That’s definitely the big question. JLO
There are a lot of mysteries at play here, and I’m starting to get a little worried that they may not pull together in the most cohesive way. At the very least, we know now that Darkseid is most certainly playing at something, finding Blackfire, Starfire’s Sister, in the ruins of Tamarand with a plan to manipulate the troubled worlds of the Ghost Sector. That should at least make this series more interesting.
SIL
I really wasn’t expecting this turn of events, as Leviathan continues to one-up every single hero and villain across the DC Universe with a skilled manipulation that comics hasn’t seen in ages. It’s incredible. But, now I wonder… Did she kill honor? Are there plans to revive her with the Lazarus Pit? What is Talia’s goal, right now? Lots of questions, and the more Leviathan stretches into other books, the more excited I get for each issue of The Silencer.WW
A solid, albeit slightly uneventful issue for Wonder Woman. Of course the children that she rescued belonged to the Prime Minister, naturally drawing her to him. Aphrodite in the fray throws quite a few things into question, and I still say it’s the result of the Otherkind from Justice League Dark destroying the home of the Gods. Though, it could be something more.
TER
The Terrifics even get their own villain team! And it’s a crazy multiversal team! That’s awesome. Of course, the team would be miserable without each other at this point. The only friends they had were each other… now they’re forced to confront that fact. The Plastic Man interaction was certainly the most interesting, with Eel’s son, Luke, being introduced to the series, and his plastic abilities. I wonder if that will come into play in the near future?

Pull Box: December 19

NEWCOMICS

BM
A surprising callback to an older issue on Tom King’s run, this culminated in a way I wasn’t expecting. It started out usual enough, and quickly became something else, with small twists here and there. How they’ll bring this all back around is the question. On top of that, this break from the main story, right as Thomas Wayne appears in the Batcave? Come on! The next issue cannot get here fast enough.
FF
A timely reboot for a team that is meant to stand in for America itself, the Freedom Fighters are most certainly a direct response to the uptick in Neo-Nazi and fear-mongering movements across the world. While it won’t have a big impact, it shows strong resolve of DC Comics to release this book and stand for something. On top of that, it already seem like it’s going to be a fitting continuation with new takes on classic characters, and I am all for that.
JL
Oh man, that was amazing! Shayera and Katar Hol are alive?! But, is it really them? What secrets are they holding in regards to the Totality, and what is their plan with the Martian Keep? And, how does Starman fit into all of this? He seems linked to the Multiverse on several levels, with his overwhelming power linked to the source wall itself. So many questions! Every time we get answers, more questions come together. It’s brilliant.
THOR
After years of build-up, the slowest burn I have ever seen in an event, The War of the Realms is finally on its way. The Avengers are slowly getting roped into it all, and Thor has become more ruthless on his search for answers, and a strategic advantage against Malekith, the mastermind of the war itself. With the Angels defeated, and Angela now in the fray, things have evened up a bit, but they are still several steps behind.
MMPR
While Lord Drakkon was probably one of the best overall villains in Power Rangers history, there is certainly something unnerving about Praetor. His ability to get into the heads, and invade the minds of the Rangers is something new to them, and should prove to be quite the problem in the coming issues. The realization that the Solarix is a piece of the Morphin Grid was a fascinating piece of writing, though. As if the Grid could potentially be tangible, in some corner of the Universe. Now, that could be fun to explore.

Pull Box: December 12

NEWCOMICS

BA
That was one of the best annual issues that I’ve ever read. With its additional pages, this story took the time to flesh out the long-standing relationship between Alfred and Bruce. Of course, it’s nothing that hasn’t been touched upon before, but it’s always gut-wrenching to see how far Alfred is willing to go for Bruce. To keep him safe, and help him complete his goals.
DC
Everything about the opening issue of this arc screams “incredible.” My first inkling is some sort of team-up with Batman’s rogues, between Hush, Joker, and maybe even more. The crime scene with the Wayne family lookalikes was eerie, and then the action ramped up with the attack on Leslie Tompkins. This was fantastic, and really got me excited for the countdown to Detective Comics #1000.
HM
Tying in with Dark Knights: Metal in a way, this Hawkman adventure has fleshed out Carter Hall in a way I never would have imagined. Giving his reincarnation more purpose than we all thought was a great way to build upon his already classic character, and now the reveal of his past gave us answers to what he’s been searching for, for ages. Now we head to Krypton in the past, to meet yet another Hawkman. That’s awesome.
JLD
Justice League Dark has been a fantastic book up to this point, and this issue somehow raised the bar even higher. The Phantom Stranger battling Doctor Fate, Constantine trapped in Nabu’s helm, the search for the son of Jim Rook and Mordru, and even a story that involves Blue Devil! I haven’t seen Blue Devil in years! That was immense fun, and I can’t wait for more of the magical world in a few weeks.
SM
The entire first half of this issue was incredibly beautiful. Superman’s resolve to avenge Kandor and the legacy of Krypton, coupled with his strategy to place Zod on his side… to tell him that Kandor was destroyed by Rogol Zaar. That’s what makes comics so damn amazing. Then you have the reveal of Jonathan Kent! Superboy is back! And he’s got a new costume that looks awesome! But where has he been? What has he done? Where is Jor-El? There are a lot of questions to be had here.
BMWL
I was expecting something quite different from this, if I’m being honest. An out-of-canon story that doesn’t touch upon much of what’s happened isn’t exactly the most satisfying way to start a book this anticipated. Particularly after the latest issue of Justice League did a magnificent job of building the Joker as a legitimate threat to any hero or villain on any world. I’ll keep up with this in the hopes that it may get better, but we’ll have to wait and see.
FLASH
Fuerza is easily one of the coolest new characters that’s been introduced in the Flash in quite some time. It gives me hope that these new users of the Forces of Strength, Sage, and Still might be really interesting. Though, we know that the reincarnation of Turtle is with Grodd in possession of the Still force. That leaves the Sage Force, which almost seems destined to end up with Gemini. I’m really enjoying this Force Quest that The Flash and Iris are on.
WW
This battlefield has turned into something else entirely. I honestly think it’s linked to Justice League Dark and the Otherkind massacring Mount Olympus, the home of the Green Pantheon, who now seem to be invading Earth and doing as they wish. I wasn’t exactly Aphrodite to be the villain here, though. Or is she the villain? That hasn’t quite been explained yet, but it’s surprising nonetheless.

Pull Box: December 5

NEWCOMICS

BM
Holy crap that was so unexpected and amazing! Oh my God, I cannot believe how that ramped up so quickly. Batman on the hunt for information on Bane and his current role in Arkham, knowing from the Penguin that there’s something amiss with it all. But then the reveal at the end! The biggest mystery of all! Flashpoint Batman! Thomas Wayne! Is it really him?! So many questions. I’m freaking out. This is the best.
DC
This was an intensely emotional issue that finally put an intense focus on the DC Universe proper, and the importance of Superman, and the Supermen Theory that’s dominated the news in this world. The obvious interference by Dr. Manhattan, as well as the manipulation to put Superman on the side of the metahumans was well-played, and I’m genuinely interested to see where this goes next.
JL
This is a war of ups and downs for the Legion of Doom, they lost Black Manta in Drowned Earth, and now they’ve lost the Joker. The one clearly ahead of all of them in more ways than one, he could have killed the entire Legion if he felt like it, knowing that the Batman Who Laughs is an unlike anything the Multiverse has ever seen. Now, with the inclusion of Brainiac to the Legion of Doom, things should continue to be quite interesting.
SHAZ
With the movie coming out in a few short months, one has to wonder if this new series is going to be any indication on what to expect from the film. If so, I’m definitely in for it, because the Shazam Family are some fantastic characters with rich history that is ripe for exploration, much in the same way Hawkman is being handled right now. Fortunately, that’s exactly what’s happening with the introduction of the Station, and more magical aspects of Shazam being explored.
GL
The insane aliens that Grant Morrison comes up with are so fantastic for Green Lantern that I’m not entirely sure why it took him so long to get on this character. But, here we are, and it’s ridiculous. With an old school design, the Blackstars are back, and it’s fun. Surprisingly, the story here is even moving along at a good pace, with questions being answered regularly, as we even quickly found out who is abducting planets. Given a lot of the stranger books recently, that’s quite a relief.
MM
The revival of Martian Manhunter across the DC Universe has been great. He’s such a fantastic character, and I truly missed him. His first solo book in years started off pretty strong, with dynamic art, and a story that’s going to be pretty interesting given J’onn’s police history on both planets. I love the focus and unique stories that are being told with these interesting characters lately, specifically with DC.

Pull Box: November 28

NEWCOMICS

AC
I’m not entirely sure how I never put it together. Clever writing, I suppose, with Miss Goode being on the hunt for kryptonite and looking her own ways to “protect” herself from Superman. Not attacking Batman to out herself. She’s immensely smart in this instance, with some fantastic foresight into keeping her identity safe, even from the readers, apparently. That was a fantastic, well-done twist if I had ever read one.
DE
The finale for Drowned Earth somehow managed to end on a high note, with a much more concise thread than I thought it would. Seeing all the fish League members was fun, but seeing Superman in a pirate jacket and eye patch was easily the best part. Particularly the eye patch, adorned with an S. I could see that look moving into the future, as well. But, I’m sure it won’t. Now with the Legion of Doom in possession of the totality, we’ll certainly get back to the main story now, as well.
DC
That was a fun, light-hearted arc, that brought Batman nearly back together with a friend he had lost to ages ago. The joy that they shared in the “Game” of it all was infectious, and even made me smile. The fact that the Fireflies were given the option to leave, and took it, and Two-Face didn’t even blame them? That was the best part, showing some great self-awareness in its writing.
WINTER
I love seeing the DC heroes in the future. The Kal Kent story was particularly great. It was a bit confusing at first, but once it came together, it was wonderful. Not to mention the fact that Damian Wayne becoming an immortal Batman after killing his Father is essentially canon at this point with how many times it’s popped up in these future books.
HIC
Surprisingly, and yet also not, it looks like Harley Quinn was the attacker on Sanctuary, after all. But why? Why would she attack all of these innocent heroes that are all just trying to heal? Booster Gold is so beyond messed up and confused. Lagoon Boy is tragic, and scarred by what’s happened in his life, and Wally West has easily the most sad story in all of DC Comics, currently. Remembering his entire past life, and the loss of his children, he has no way to cope with the loss of two people that never existed on this world. That’s truly heartbreaking.
JLO
This story is moving so slow, with little to no answers being given each issue, though we are only 3 issues in. The biggest mystery, of course, is why Darkseid is so invested in their success. Even posing a lowly refugee medic to heal Starfire and ensure she’s able to fight alongside them. It’s interesting, and those mysteries will certainly keep me coming back.
FL
The beautiful retcon that happened in this issue about Gorilla City and its roles in regards to the four forces, specifically the Sage Force, was great. A smooth change that just slid perfectly into place without sacrificing any history of the Gorillas, and even furthered the story along. Now, we know we’re searching for 3 other heroes, and we quickly met our first: Fuerza, avatar of the Strength Force, clearly. This should be interesting.
SIL
Talia’s arrogance truly knows no bounds, as she thinks after all this time of endangering Honor Guest and her family, the Silencer, she would bend to her will and be pleased that Leviathan is back. Despite her constant pleas to leave her out of it. That she didn’t want to be back in that life. I hope that Honor kicks her ass in the next issue, and does what has to be done to get back to her family, and let them know that she’s safe.
TER
This was easily the best issue yet of The Terrifics. Fantastic art, great battle, with fantastic story-telling. This was wonderful, and really set the bar for the series moving forward. The shot of Mr. Terrific walking away with his mask blacked out aws particularly awesome, and I hope this artist sticks with them moving forward. He really brought things forward, and made the book far more dynamic.
WW
This new arc for Wonder Woman is certainly a strange one. At first, Ares seemed changed… for 2 pages. Now, he does the exact same thing he used to do, except his purpose is twisted and misguided. Then there’s the mythological creatures that have all been dumped into this world, and no one is sure why. Kidnapping Steve, and taking him to their mysterious leader? Who could she be?
FF
And with that, the Fantastic Four are officially back. While the Baxter Building has come and gone through numerous owners since they left, I think it’s even more fitting that they’re now at #4 Yancy Street. The street has such significance for the team, ever since their inception, and it’s a wonderful callback to their long and storied history to have things play out like this. Additionally the Fantastic Four have always been more level-headed than their peers, and the way they handled The Fantastix is certainly no different.
2INONE
The final issue of Marvel 2-in-One! I was surprised when it continued past the debut of the new Fantastic Four series, but I’m glad it was allowed to go on a bit longer. Tie up loose ends with Johnny and dealing with everyone betraying him. The fate of Rachna Koul and her sister. Just small details that were left upended the last several issues. And, sure enough… there they were. All addressed, and tied neatly into a little bow. A solid ending for a solid book.
MMPR
This is quickly becoming yet another fantastic addition to the Power Rangers mythos. The freedom that the medium of comics allows, letting us see Rangers from various teams together in times of need, and even introducing new Rangers and new world. It’s pretty great. Also, that ending was fantastic, and really made me excited for the next issue, with the Solar Ranger, as she’s now being called, charging the other Rangers for a fight.

Pull Box: November 7

NEWCOMICS

GL
Grant Morrison writing a main-canon Green Lantern book is a GL fan wet dream. His insanity meshes so well with the many alien worlds that are infinitely present through the universe of Green Lantern, and it’s going to be an insane ride. It’s the first issue, and we’ve already seen that Doctor Manhattan rewrote the Book of Oa, and there’s a yellow Hal Jordan doppleganger being built to fight the Green Lantern Corps. That’s quite a start.
JL
Ok, Drowned Earth just infinitely more interesting. The stakes are higher with Black Manta and the Tear of Extinction, and now the Legion of Doom has invaded the Hall of Justice with only a broken and paralyzed Batman to guard the totality. Man! That’s awesome! What’s even better is Jarro calls Batman his Dad, and that’s so damn adorable, I can’t even stand it.
BM
There’s a massive conspiracy that has been shaping up throughout Batman’s Rogue’s gallery since Tom King took over and as pieces fall into place I’m getting excited to see where it’s going. Penguin is working with Bane in Arkham, but seems to have his own agenda. And that Flashpoint Batman is still there at Bane’s side… so damn mysterious. I think we’re going to start getting into the nitty-gritty of this conspiracy, as it’s pretty obvious Bane hired KGBeast to shoot Nightwing, as well.

Pull Box: October 31

NEWCOMICS

2IN1
The Fantastic Four are back together. But, before that, Ben Grimm rightfully so had some grievances with his best friend and closest confidant. The questions that Ben had for Reed throughout this entire issue were all valid, but it still seems wrong to me that, at the end of it all, Reed left them behind to try make Victor Von Doom, of all people, a better person. I hope that Reed has learned a lesson through all of this… that the Fantastic Four are truly stronger together. Not just as a team, but as characters.
SF
I honestly had no idea what to expect from this book, but it turned out to be yet another fantastic collection of short Batman stories. Always a delight to read, they touch upon many of the failures of Batman, and really bring him back to being a normal person in a suit… albeit an extremely talented and intelligent normal person. This was definitely worth the read for any fan of Batman.
WH
This was one hell of a fantastic event, that worked perfect for Halloween and setting up Wonder Woman as more of a magical force in the Justice League than before. Not only did it deepen her understanding of magic, but it also set up two major conflicts for the awesome team, with Circe manipulating them the entire time, and the Otherkind now being unleashed upon Olympus. Both of those are going to make for some awesome reading in the near future.
TER
The first Terrifics Annual, of many I hope, was pretty great. Another collection of short stories, one of them was even fairly spooky for Halloween, as well as some back story, and tragic origins. We learned the history of the Tom Strong message, and even the origin of Java, who was recently outed as Doctor Dread, making his story all the more ominous in this instance.
DE
This event is interesting, but something about Aquaman and Atlantis has always felt off to me. The stakes don’t feel as high as Witching Hour, and the villains aren’t as interesting. The most interesting thing happening here was the addition of Black Manta as a Legion of Doom representative that’s betrayed the Earth to the aquatic invaders. Maybe as it continues, it’ll get a little more interesting, but I won’t be holding my breath. Zing.

HIC
In two issues, Heroes in Crisis has managed to humanize damn near every hero and villain in the DC Universe in a way I’ve never seen before. With the exception of Booster Gold, who has continuously been made out to be a psychopath in many respects. This is just another example, and the mystery of who killed all of the heroes at Sanctuary seems to be quite a conundrum, because they’ve done so little to show the murder itself, but followed multiple possible murderers. I actually wish I could read this entire run right now, because I’m that curious.

Pull Box: October 24

NEWCOMICS

DC
That was actually a good twist involving Two-Face. It was Two-Face at all that killed the mysterious Karl Twist… it was Harvey Dent. The righteous man gone off the grid from his secondary personality. Now, with all of that, Two-Face is working with Batman and the GCPD to stop Kobra. We even got a small nod to The Silencer in there, with that mention of Leviathan. That was very cool.
AC
There’s something fishy about this entire Lois and Jon situation. I feel as if this isn’t going to be the real Lois Lane, or she’s been brainwashed by Jor-El or something. It’s strange. With that said, the looming threat of Ms. Goode at the Daily Planet creates an insane amount of tension every time her and Clark are around each other, now. Even after Batman took her kryptonite. That’s called good writing.
JLO
Once again, DC has thrown together an unlikely team of heroes, and given them pretty fantastic chemistry. While this team doesn’t quite have the chemistry of the Justice League Dark, they work well together in unique ways, and that’s awesome. Throw in a mysterious destiny regarding the Multiverse and it makes for a pretty incredible book, even though it’s only two issues in.
FL
This was a fast-moving issue that moved the Rogue’s in general further, with Trickster already reuniting with the original Trickster, and now Heat Wave losing his scars and remembering his old ways. Iris embraced her old memories, adn the Flash finally accepted his path. It looks like The Flash is destined to get back to its old, fun status quo, and that’s great. The real mystery now… who is Commander Cold?
SIL
For once in this book, it genuinely looked like Silencer was going to lose this fight while trapped in Quietus’ body, but through sheer luck of timing, she made it out alright. With her enemy in pieces on top of that. But unfortunately, her husband is getting closer to the truth of her double-life, and even worse, Talia Al-Ghul has been brought back to life… again.
TER
It was pretty obvious from the last issue that Doc Dread was Java, given his conniving dealings and attempts at stealing away Sapphire from Rex. Now, we have confirmation, and his plan has already been stopped by Tom Strong and the Terrifics, whom I honestly hope stick together for a while, as they seem to make a fun team, that acts as a nice throwback to the days of Doc Savage, and heroes of that ilk.
MMPR
This entire issue was more about building the story, and introducing new characters and ideas, and that’s completely fine. I was, admittedly, starting to get a bit lost with a lot of the new terminology, but it was instantly explained and implied what it all is, and that’s some great story-telling. I’m also glad that new “evil Ranger” turned out to not be evil after all, to avoid treading old paths. A new villain sounds like a good idea.